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Project Runway 9, Premiere – The Height of Fashion


The designers go home at nine that night – and get up at 4:30 the next morning. They start work. Bryce quickly makes a tube-top to replace the ill-fitting bodice, while Julie finishes work on a jacket that she has spent 12 hours making. Tim comes in and tells the designers they will leave in 1-1/2 hours for the outdoor runway. Fallene, feeling Bryce has done most of the work on their look, makes a red, feathery headpiece.

Tim sends in the models an hour before everybody is supposed to leave. The models tell the designers that they put on the pants before the stilts. Anya and Olivier ask the make-up people for a futuristic look. Fallene tells us she’s terrified of the upcoming show. Then it’s off to Battery Park, the site of the show. Fallene has another attack of nerves and Tim assures her that she’ll do just fine.

Heidi welcomes the crowd to Project Runway’s first outdoor show. (Yes, crowd. This particular show is open to the public and the press, which probably explains Fallene’s stage-fright.) The guest judge is Kim Kardashian, model , actress, and reality T.V. fixture. She and her sisters own a clothing boutique called D-A-S-H.

Joshua and Julie are up first. Their “matador” is wearing black and white pants with bold wavy stripes going down their length. She is also wearing a beaded red jacket that is sleeveless on one side and has a long sleeve with a cape attached to it. The model displays this with a flourish, as if she really were facing an angry bull.

Burt and Viktor send down a bodice made out of sofa material. Well, that’s what it looks like, anyway. It’s purple and decorated with gold flowers, just like Grandma’s couch. The model is also wearing a long, voluminous skirt made of some shimmering material with purple and green highlights.

Bryce and Fallene decided to dress their model as a goth ballerina in a black tutu, black leggings, and black tube-top. The only colors come from a maroon sash and a red headpiece. Becky and Kimberly apparently like gold and dark green. They made dark green pants and a striped gold and green jacket with a half collar and a single long sleeve. The left side of the jacket was sleeveless and cut diagonally to showcase the model’s tattoo.

Anya and Olivier send down a long blue print skirt and a sleeveless top that combines grey fabric with the skirt’s print fabric. Cecilia and Danielle made flowing beige pants and a translucent turquoise blouse with long sleeves. For some reason, they had the model wear a bouffant hairdo fit for the model’s mother.

Last up are Anthony and Laura, who plainly adore the color red. They made a scarlet skirt and a sleeveless bustier of a darker shade. The bustier consists of a crimson tube-top connected to some transparent material that hugs the model’s shoulders. Crimson feathers decorate the shoulders and upper back.

After the models have their encore, the designers face the judges back at Parson’s. Heidi congratulates Anya and Olivier for making it to the next round. They’re safe, but the other six pairs got the highest and the lowest scores between them. The high scorers are Anthony and Laura, Cecilia and Danielle, and Becky and Kimberly. The low scorers are Joshua and Julie, Bryce and Fallene, and Viktor and Bert.

The judges start with the high scorers, while the low scorers have to go backstage and sweat. Joshua notes that the low scorers’ outfits were the more costumey pieces, while the high scorers’ looks could be worn by regular people — after some major adjustments in length, that is.

The judges start with Anthony and Laura, who simply tell them they wanted to make a red outfit. Heidi calls the look “dramatic,” and Kim says it was elegant. She likes the details, particularly the thin black belt. Nina says it’s beautiful, but also “referential,” which is a nice way of saying that Anthony has the bad habit of copying other designers. Anthony tells the judges that Laura had led the project.

Next up are Danielle and Cecilia, who had wanted to create something elegant with dramatic sleeves. Heidi likes the outfit, but not the hairdo. Michael goes so far as to call the hair “crazy.” Nina thinks the look is too quiet. All of the judges give them props for working with chiffon, which is notoriously tricky.

Kimberly and Becky tell the judges that they had wanted to play to each other’s strengths. All of the judges like the pants, but Nina dislikes the half-collar which she thinks looks like something from the circus.


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